Self-published your book and not sure how to get others to notice it! No problem these tips will help you market like a pro.
- Get media attention – pitching the media. Securing interviews with various media is an excellent way to promote your book. Make sure your pitch is well-planned, clearly showing why you are the expert in your field, and outlines your experience appearing on radio and TV. Also, just because you wrote a book is not news, you need to talk more about how that book can make a difference or why their audience would love it.
- Radio Shows – One way to get more PR for your book is to do radio shows. Fortunately there are so many shows available today and constantly are looking for great guests. In fact, it was recently mentioned in Entrepreneur Magazine that 57 million Americans are now tuning in. One benefit of doing radio is that you can do it from the convenience of your own home or office with no traveling required. Remember pitch the shows that fit your book and you. That show on benefits of going organic, is not going to appreciate your book on building a business. Write down sound bites that clearly discusses your book, you, the topic of your book, etc. (The Q&A from your media kit can be used here.) Remember when doing a show to keep it conversational and fun, always following the hosts lead. And add these to your media page on your website and be sure to promote the show yourself. Shows will have you back more when they see their numbers increase.
- TV – Know that if you haven’t been on TV before, big named shows are not as likely to bite, so start locally and on a smaller scale. Build up to the bigger names one and always add any media you get to your press page, your bio, and any pitches. Watch the shows so you have a good idea how they work. Dress the part and be confident. Yes, you’ll be nervous, but remember you did something sensational that not everyone can do … you wrote a book and are an author. It helps!
- Local Media – Connect with your local media and let them know you have a new book out. But be sure to give them a reason why they would want to interview you. Again, the fact that you live in their area and wrote something isn’t enough. You need to pitch them on why their audience would be interested. What unique angle can you bring to the plate? Keep in mind too, you can often target these towards holidays or special events if you have a book that relates on these topics. There always seems to be a day or month for something (i.e., talk like a pirate day.)
- Book Reviews. Getting book reviews is so important. There are numerous professional book reviewers who review books professionally and it’s good to send pitches to them. We use Cision to look for reviewers and all of our media, but there are others out there as well. Just make sure it’s targeted and send exactly what they ask. When you do your homework, it shows. Also, it’s great to ask for those who know you as well to write a review, just don’t be that person that spams their friends. Also, have a promotion strategy with a big push at the beginning, but then continue to seek and secure reviews on a monthly basis. It’s a commitment that will pay off by keeping your book in the public eye. Also, know timing is critical when securing book reviews as a few of the larger book review sites require the galley two to three months in advance.
- Blog Tours. In today’s online world, blog tours are an economical way to promote your book as well as your expertise. Create your pitch and send it to blog sites that may want to have you as guest blogger or connect with you in some other way such as doing a good review or perhaps a contest. Be sure your pitch is clear on the topic and why you would be the perfect fit for their site. Also, offer several options such as being a guest blogger, providing a Q&A, hosting a contest, etc.
- Blogging is a great way to get PR about your book. It allows you to connect with your readers, as well as those who are just curious about you, but haven’t yet taken the plunge as a devoted fan. Blogging builds relationships, allows you to share more about yourself than just what appears in your book, and it’s the perfect place to post your book reviews or ask for reviews. Be consistent with your blogging and whenever you add a new blog posting, mention it on all your social media channels.
- Book Clubs – Promote your book through book clubs. Offer a discount and also offer to answer questions throughout. Be personable and show them why it would be to their advantage to host you.
- Press Releases. An aggressive press release campaign can be one of your best and most cost-effective ways to promote your book. It not only brings exposure to your book , but it rocks your SEO results and backlinks. Your release can cover the launch of your book, any great reviews you received, an upcoming book tour or book signing, any speaking engagements you have up and coming, any radio appearances, etc. Remember the most important basis for a press release – it has to be newsworthy. Get in the habit of writing releases on a regular basis and also be sure in your press release to include the call to action—buy my book, do a review, come to my book signing, etc.
- Writing Articles – Write articles on the topic in your book. It is a great way to promote your book or show your expertise. For example, say you have a business book on starting a virtual assistant business. You can write articles on how to start a VA business, how to work with virtual assistants, pricing, etc. Use your articles to pitch magazines, blogs, newspapers, etc. who write on your topic. Often they will include the entire article. You can also add your articles to your newsletter, blogs, etc.
- Create a media kit – it’s great to have a media kit that you can add to your site as well as send when requested from the media. A media kit can consist of sales page, pitch (cover letter), press release, bio, Q&A, excerpts, and testimonials. No need for a huge media kit these days. Just the basics so you can share more about your book. We use the pitch (cover letter) and press release to also send out to the media, so it helps that way as well.
- Newsletter –On your website have a signup box to your newsletter. Send out a newsletter at least once a month if not more. This is your way to get personal and show fans more about you. Let them know of upcoming books, speaking opportunities, etc.
- Book promotion and speaking go hand in hand. Use your book to get more speaking engagements, and use your speaking engagements to promote your book. Plan well in advance, and look for opportunities locally, online and around the country. Your colleagues and others in your professional circle can also be a great resource for speaking opportunities, and are typically always happy to share their knowledge and ideas. Also, you can find speaking opportunities by doing internet searches on speaking opportunities and your topic. Also, set up Google alerts to find more. Once you find them, send a well-crafted pitch on why you are perfect for their audience.
- Teleseminars / Webinars – Absolutely be in the habit of doing these, especially if your book is business related. You get to show your expertise, but also many use teleseminars as a way to get more to sign up for their email list. The key is to really give value. Too many webinars are 5 minutes of content and 55 minutes of sales pitch. Not good! Give value and they will want to hear more from you.
- Book Signings – What a great way to celebrate being an author. First connect locally to not only bookstores in your area, but perhaps your local library. Don’t limit it to only those though. If your book is focused on a specific topic, see what businesses or organizations may be interested as well. Know that you can continue to do book signings even after the initial launch. So many do this, plan book signings at the beginning and then stop. Don’t be that author! Continually make this a part of your marketing, not only for sales, but to keep you front and center in front of your favorite fans!
- Networking – Get involved. Look for groups in your area that would be a good fit and attend regularly. Be picky. In the beginning you might attend more until you find the right groups, but once you find good fits, spend your valuable time there. And this isn’t just for writer’s groups, although those rock. Are there any business groups that have your targeted audience in them, maybe some sci-fi groups or mystery groups? Keep looking. The secret here though is not to overcommit. Know these take time so watch your schedule so you too can enjoy them and not feel stressed.
- Social Media –Get active and stay active on social media and connect with your fans. They love seeing the face behind the book. Remember the 80/20 rule. 80 percent engagement, 20 percent pitching. You can include excerpts from your books, any reviews you get, business tips, motivational quotes, images, contests, upcoming events and any press you get, etc. Plus, have fun with it. And most importantly, remember it’s better to have a smaller number of really engaged fans, than thousands of those who aren’t.
- Paid Advertising – Yes do it! Sure it costs a little, but budget accordingly. You get your book and you in front of the right people when you do.
- Facebook Ads. – It pays to spend some money and get additional exposure for your book as well as your Facebook Book Page. Be sure to target your audience when you set up an ad, and make it visually appealing. Set the budget so you can see results.
- Google Ads – The benefit to Google ads is that you find the keywords that really work. To get front page status, you have to pay more for certain keywords. The good news … you can use those keywords in your everyday marketing. Yeah buddy, it works!
- Book Business Cards – Carry business cards of your book with the cover on them and contact information. Get into the habit of passing them out often. Also, if speaking at an event have cards with your book and cards with your information. A nicely crafted postcard works great!
- Website – You want to have a website for your book or at minimum a page on your site specifically for your book. Also, know just having a website isn’t enough. You also have to keep it updated, making sure to keep it updated and easy to purchase your book. So many develop a website and never come back again. Big mistake!
- Promote through Your Other Books – Use your other books. If you sell multiple books in the shopping cart, have it set up so it shows other books they might be interested in.
- Excerpts from your book – Get into the habit of taking excerpts from your book and creating social media postings, blog postings, creating articles, etc. It’s a great way to show what’s in your book and get more engagement. Also, you can add these to your media kit as well.
- Always carry a copy of your book with you – When someone asks about it, be proud and tell them about it. Don’t be shy in telling them how they can purchase it. (Just don’t be pushy!)
- Family, Friends & Associates – Yes, your family, friends and associates can be key in promoting your book and most are thrilled to help. (You can even send PDF copies to some to cut down on expenses of not having to send a hard copy.) It’s okay to tell them how best they can help as many just aren’t sure. Ask for reviews, tell them to share with their friends and family, post on social media, and don’t forget to invite them to your book launching party. Just don’t be that friend that all you talk about now is your book and forget the value of your friendship.
- BONUS TIP — YOU! The best way to sell your book is to be a good example. Be the author that engages with fans and truly cares. Be the author that doesn’t overextend and burden your social media with constantly only selling your book. Be the author that has a great book and you are proud of it.
See how easy it can be to market your book. Get in the habit of doing these regularly.
Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She’s the co-author of Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and So You Want to be a Work-at-Home Mom. Feel free to pass this article along as long as the author’s block is included and follow her on social media at https://www.facebook.com/VirtualWordPublishing/ and https://twitter.com/DianaEnnen